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Day 5 – Q 2.What is ‘fabian socialism’? What are its characteristics? Discuss.

2. What is ‘fabian socialism’? What are its characteristics? Discuss.

‘फैबियन समाजवाद ’क्या है? इसकी क्या विशेषताएँ हैं? चर्चा करें।


Fabian socialism, founded in 1884, is a form of socialism that advances the principles of democratic framework to achieve gradual conversion to socialism rather than by revolutionary overthrow. This originated from the movement for the Utopian socialism.


The characteristics of Fabian socialism are:

  • Fabian socialism is gradual in nature, a slow and steady process. There is no place for abruptness. The socialism proceeds step by step with people participation and extension of democratic rights.
  • It feels the necessity of ‘State’ as an ultimate arbiter of all disputes. Though power shall be rested in the hands of the state, there shall be no opportunity to exercise it arbitrarily.
  • It advocates nationalization of key industries in the economic structure of the society, but did not support management of entire economy by state.
  • State has to improve the conditions and make way for socialism without curbing freedom.
  • Control of state or parliament over the economy to stop development of aberration.
  • It includes parliamentary processes like Universal Adult Franchise, periodic elections; enact laws by representatives etc. for the functioning of society.
  • It is against complete revolution or armed struggle as it believes that it can ensure only temporary relief but in the long run may cause disastrous results.
  • Permeation or privileged membership: This form of socialism was also exclusively membered by intellectuals or the higher class. They were believed to directly influence or actively ensure the spread of Fabians.
  • Emphasis on the possibility of reasonable reconstruction of government and society on what they perceived as a scientific basis.

Famous Fabian socialists:

  • George Bernard Shaw, Beatrice Webb, Sidney Webb, Annie Besant etc. The Britain Labor Party was believed to be completely Fabian in ideology.
  • India: PM Jawaharlal Nehru was inspired by Fabian views and socialism. The Mahalanobis model, rationing and control of public choices were his ways of implementing Fabian thought.


Working of the history of world economics and a look at the challenges for the future, the socialistic economics with Fabianism and a mix of capitalism seem to give an ideal economic fabric as a way ahead.

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